A LIGHT rail system is only “half an inch” away as potholes have exposed the historic tram lines on the Blackrock Road.
Labour local area representative Peter Horgan has called for speeding issues and traffic volumes, which are causing the damage to the road to be addressed, whilst also exploring the potential of the tramlines for a future light rail system.
The tramlines operated on the route from 1898 to 1931, running from Tivoli to Blackrock, in addition to other lines across Cork city from Blackpool to Douglas and Summerhill to Sunday’s Well.
Blackrock Village had its tramlines reintegrated into the public realm in 2017 as part of a €2m revamp of the area but they remain buried underneath the tarmac further up the Blackrock Road.
Mr Horgan said: “This pothole is in Ashton and the funny thing is they are exposed down in the village and it shows they are going all the way into town.
“People are calling for the introduction of a light rail system and here we have the tracks already laid down.
“The road is riddled with potholes and speeding issues and that needs to be addressed.
“There have been suggestions by some residents to me that you could reintroduce the tram lines along Old Blackrock Road and keep it for local access but I don’t know how that could work.
“The main thing I am calling for is speed restrictions along the road because people are bombing up and down the road. There is a heavy flow of traffic every day and the only way to stop the road disintegrating all the time is less cars on the road. That requires more investment in public transport. Does that require reintroduction of the trams? Perhaps.
“There would need to be a serious public consultation with people on the Old Blackrock Road. We are hearing so much about the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) but where is it?
“We’re half an inch under the tarmac away from a light rail system,” he added.
A proposed traffic plan for Wilton has a light rail element built into the design to allow for future adaptation.